Doing squats, pain-free

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Doing squats, pain-free

Postby i live in omaha » Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:16 pm

I'm tall and so squats hurt my lower back quite a bit.

Any advice on how to do them, or should i just keep them nixxed from my routine?

[quote="JP"]Some (tall people) choose to do front squats as it is easier on your back, but proper back squats as well.

I'm not familliar with front squats. How do front squats differ from regular squats?

[quote]When you approach parallel, do you feel like your upper body needs to go too far forwards and that stresses your lower back?

My upper body does go quite a bit forward to keep balanced since my femur is so long. I get to about 30 degrees from parallel to the ground before my back starts hurting.

[quote]If so, you might benefit from squatting with a wider stance. Personally I squat so wide that my toes touch the squat racks railings - it's as wide as i can get inside the rack.

Next time i do lower body i'll try to throw in some light squats with a wider stance to see how those work out.

I've been doing lunges as a replacement for squats lately. Lunges are great and i really like them, but not as much as i liked doing squats. I can't go as heavy, obviously, but there is still the balance factor present unlike doing leg presses.
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Squatting tactics

Postby VeganEssentials » Tue Jan 06, 2004 7:15 am

Been there with pain while squatting myself. It all stems from running a LOT a few years back and now my right kneecap tracks off to the side, which isn't really much fun. I had to adapt my squatting to it a bit to accomodate the discomfort, and here's what I did...

First, I found that wide stance squats made me feel sore in the knees the next day, so I played around with medium to narrow stances for a bit to find what worked. Shoulder width is about as wide as I go now and it feels much better. Also, I had to start from scratch and go extremely light, and I changed my positioning from that of a powerlifting position to an olympic style squatting method and found it to be much better on the knees as well. I keep my back almost completely vertically straight, bar resting high on my traps almost at my neckline. To help with knee flexibility I do my first 2 sets with pauses at rock bottom - I'll drop to where my butt hits my calves, wait for 5 seconds, and then go back up. This has also helped a lot since I realized that my lack of flexibility and long time off from squatting made my knees stiff and was a major contributor to my pain - frequent squatting and stretching has definitely cured it considerably and now I don't feel any pain at all.

There are some great articles in Milo magazine regarding knee pain and squatting, so if you get the chance to see some of the 2003 issues they'll come in handy in diagnosing your problems as well. Hope that this helps a bit!

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Postby Myrddin » Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:00 am

Stick with lunges - I think they are great too. Stengthen your back with good mornings or stiff legged deadlifts but go easy!
The great thing about lunges is that you use a lower weight than you would doing squats (because the front leg is emphasised) and you don't have the risk factor when you do heavy squats.

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yes

Postby i live in omaha » Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:37 pm

I did squats again today for the first time in months. i even had one of the trainers at the gym give me a hand and make sure i had proper positioning (or to help me if my back exploded).

I did a bunch of sets between 85-105 if that gives you any idea how cautious i was trying to be regarding my back.

I thought it went rather smoothly and i look forward to gradually raising that weight back up to where i was beforehand.
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Re: Doing squats, pain-free

Postby JP » Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:38 pm

[quote="i live in omaha"]
I'm not familliar with front squats. How do front squats differ from regular squats?


check this out mate:
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Qua ... Squat.html

When you start doing them, they are a real bastard, and it's difficult to use any real weigh because it hurts your shoulders so much. I've only done them couple of times.

If you start doing these though you need to deadlift because front squats don't recruit your posterior chain. Of course not totally though, like any good compound movement your whole body is still involved to certain extent.
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Postby Pete » Sun Jan 11, 2004 8:57 pm

I've had a thought about squats that Ryan touched upon. He had knee problems & has ended up doing arse to ankle reps at shoulder width. So, he goes through a full range on motion. Isn't a parallel squat really a partial rep. Yep, it's used by powerlifters, yep, you can have more on your back, but is it as as beneficial as a full range move.
Also doesn't part of the lubrication system of a joint (if I'm not totally mistaken about my anatomy) work by having the joint move over it's full range for best effect, so wouldn't it be good for even parallel squatters to at least do some deep knee bends arse to ankle during warm up, so the knees get thoughly lubricated before squatting with weight?
This isn't to diss the Plers, or people who go to parallel, just wondering what people thought.
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yes

Postby i live in omaha » Sun Jan 11, 2004 10:50 pm

you bring up a good point pete.

Today i tried a few squats touching my ace to ankles and it was still pain-free.

I also did some light weight (just 45 lbs) deadlifts for the first time in a really really long time, and it felt great. Even though the weight wasn't anywhere near being a large amount, it still felt great just to go through the motions. My lower back hasn't been getting much of a workout lately since this summer (i injured my lower back doing leg presses) but now I feel i might be ready to bring it back into my workouts gradually.
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Postby Pete » Sun Jan 11, 2004 11:39 pm

Remember to take it slow bro. If you've had back problems in the past then be extra careful. We aren't in no race here. Get each weight increase hands down before going up. If it takes you twice as long, then so what you'll get there pain-free. Go too fast & you could do permanent damage, & we want you there for the long haul!
Just thought I'd throw in a note of caution as I know what it's like when you start up with the big moves after a break, you want to go heavy & you want it now :!:
Speak to ya soon,
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